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The Chocolate War
by Robert Cormier
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Disturb the Universe — 6 years ago

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Jerry Renault is a nobody; he’s a freshman at Trinity High School, his mother is dead, and he barely makes a blip in the world. Trinity is a place where guys like Jerry keep out of sight, where guys like the Vigils run the show. So when Jerry refuses to sell chocolates for Trinity, everyone takes notice. Some say that Jerry’s a hero, fighting against the injustices of the school. Others think that Jerry’s refusal may have something to do with Archie and the rest of the Vigils. Whatever the cause, Jerry has finally disturbed the world. And the world won’t let him forget it.

Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War forces readers to ask if they are brave enough to say no and keep saying no. Despite its age, Jerry’s story is incredibly powerful and it stays with the reader long afterwards. Cormier explores issues of violence, individuality, conformity, and bullying. Though the ending is gritty and savage, I did not find the book ultimately depressing; Jerry does disturb the universe and makes a stand. However, the book is very open to interpretation and it is impossible to come away from it without an emotional response.


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